July 21, 2024

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Overview of Cloud Computing

Author : DAOUDI Samir | Context : MSc Software Engineering – Software Engineering

The last decent in IT field has been marked by many extraordinary events and improvements; The wide use of mobile device and solutions developed around it, the ‘boom’ of social networks and all the personal & business capabilities offered by them, the appearance of cloud computing with important technical possibilities and the migration of important software-solutions to the cloud …etc.

These improvements and new solutions would never exist without the improvement of the hardware that allows such big solutions to exist and respond to users expectations.

Focusing on Cloud Computing, what is it exactly, what are the advantages/disadvantages of Cloud Computing and what is the future of this technology?

1.Defining Cloud Computing 
Cloud computing can be defined as dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet (Burko, 2010).With the Cloud technology, users use many devices (laptops, PCs, smartphones…etc.) to access programs and data over the Internet

2. The evolution of cloud computing
The evolution of IT in general has passed throw different phases:

Phase 1: Many users accessed and shared a powerful mainframe using terminals.
Phase 2: Each user has his/r own stand-alone PC that became powerful enough to meet users’ requirements.
Phase 3: Servers, PC, Laptops were all connected sharing resources, increasing performances and forming what is called local networks
Phase 4: I giant network composed by the interconnection of the different local networks is known as Internet.
Phase 5: Grid computing age, which provided a computing power and storage through distributed computing. (Burko, 2010)

Next phase is the Cloud computing, its evolution was described in 3 phases: E-business, IT as a services and everything as a service. (Fred, 2010)

3. Advantages of Cloud Computing
Fred V.D Molen gave an interesting abstraction of the benefits of Cloud Computing in the following points:
– Improved business agility
– Reduced capital expenditure
– Increased end-user productivity and collaboration
– Reduced energy consumption (Fred, 2010).

Burko described some advantages of the Cloud technology as : Cost saving, High availability and easy scalability.

Another interesting survey conducted by Oliver Wyman (IBM) with business executives from different companies identified the following elements as the main benefits of Cloud technology:
– Reduce capital cost
– Reduce IT management cost
– Accelerate technology deployment
– Accelerate business innovation (Burko, 2010)

4. Disadvantages of Cloud Computing 
Cloud computing as any technology can have some disadvantages and weaknesses. The most important point that makes people and managers hesitating and thinking twice before migrating their data centers to the cloud is the security question. In fact, the data might seem insecure and IT managers and professional might feel uncomfortable when thinking that their crucial business data is hosted in a 3rd party data centers with may be other solutions.

I personally think that this is normal and with time, people will trust the cloud computing as a technology and we would see more critical systems (bank systems, financial, business related systems) hosted as cloud solutions.

Burko.F, Armando Escalante (2010). Handbook of Cloud Computing. Springer editions, ISBN: 978-1-4419-6523-3.

Fred Van Der Molen (2010). Get Ready for Cloud Computing, a comprehensive guide to virtualization and cloud computing. Van Haren Publishing, ISBN: 978-90-8753-640-4

Avresky, D. R (2009). Cloud computing, First International Conference, CloudComp 2009, Munich, Germany.ISBN : 9783642126369